Sunday, August 29, 2010

Uncharted Territory

I'm ready for week two!! Yay! 

Prayer Request: Mini-School Open House Tuesday Night!! I've been talking with the teachers and I have a feeling this year is going to be different than last year, when I had a total of 6 parents show up. I will be nervous and I'm hoping I don't get asked "Is this your first year?" I feel like that question is associated with a "you're not going to be a good teacher" mindset, and that is not what I want my parents to feel like.

Up this week in my accelerated class is Order of Operations, Writing Expressions, and Combining Like Terms! All very fun, but there is one that I am especially excited to teach:
For those of you who do not know yet, I am in the process of writing of a book! It's an educational book that deals with the concept of Order of Operations. During my student teaching, my cooperating teacher told me a story that she tells rather than teaching the old PEMDAS way. Last year, I really expanded on the story and stuck with referencing it all year. I loved how well it really taught the students Order of Operations, rather than just memorizing letters of PEMDAS that really isn't correct to begin with. Being a math teacher I would say math is my strongest subject, while writing isn't exactly. I would much rather just write than really worry about grammar, punctuation, or spelling (you've probably noticed if you've read my blogs!). So this is really new ground for me and just learning the whole process of writing a book, finding an illustrator, getting it illustrated, getting it edited, getting it published, and so on. So while my book, for now, is no where near being on any shelves, I am going to get to read my first draft to my students this week and see how they react to it. I do know they have all been taught PEMDAS, but hopefully they're open to looking at this objective a different way. I will have to let y'all know how it's going!

In my on-level classes we're going to spend the week on decimals! Everything from ordering and comparing to estimating and finishing with adding and subtracting. I think I left my favorite activity with decimals in Waco, so I spent last week recreating with a new shopping ad. So Thursday my students will be going grocery shopping! It's a wonderful way to get them to practice adding and subtracting decimals with an extremely useful real world application. 

Also, I begin coaching my wonderful little 6th graders this week with PSA! I am so excited to begin working with the girls and I cannot wait to see the progress they make throughout our season!

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." - Hebrews 11:1

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 1 Complete, 186 to Go!!

I guess a whole summer will let you forget how quickly just one school day goes by! My day was a blur but when I think back, I definitely did teach 6 classes today and they all went smoothly! Thank you so much to anyone who was lifting me up in prayers! It is greatly appreciated!

"So I unlocked my classroom door and..." (family joke!) I feel like I could give that much detail though! I definitely enjoyed my accelerated classes! There are some very smart kids and after finally concluding today that I DO know more than them, I'm ready to challenge them mathematically! It was obvious even in the very beginner activity that I did which of my classes I was teaching. That is fine by me because I'm quite used to teaching at the regular or even remedial level, but I think my accelerated classes are going to be a blast! My very last class will be interesting; there are 29 students and it's the end of the day! I will be strategically placing them in my seating charts and try to gently remind some of my boys they do not have to make a comment after every single thing I say. I did pull out my line of "don't make me use my teacher voice!" And just in case some of you don't know, I'm required to keep a website for my school and update it every so often. So if you haven't been to it you should check it out! Directory Page , then click on my name and you'll go to my page! I'm not sure how much updating I'll do, but I like it for now!

The best part of my day includes passing periods. You may be surprised at this, but I have incredible teachers that surround me (1 is my mentor and the other one is graduated from Baylor so you know she's fantastic). At my school they play music during the last minute of the passing period to help students move along and get to class. We decided to add our form of encouragement and have sword fights in the hallway (with foam swords) while yelling get to class!! It's quite entertaining and I love the stares we get from students!
I did get several "I heard you're really nice." I really don't want to be known as the nice teacher and I definitely don't want kids to mistake nice for easy. I am nice and kind, but I'm also hard and I expect a lot. Hopefully this will be evident through the rest of this first week, because I do not want a stereotype on me!

My day ended with a wonderful surprise from one of my best Baylor friends:
 Clancypants you are so kind and thoughtful!! I love them and they smell incredible!!

Overall I love being a Bronco and bring on the rest of the year!! :) I told my Baylor friends today, I love finally earning my money and getting paid for what I'm doing!! ha

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Brand New Life

Ta-duhhh!! My very own classroom? Yes!! I've only been waiting for this for 4 years now! I am most grateful for how prepared I feel. I keep hearing the question, "Aren't you nervous for the first day?" and I"m really tired of it, because no, I'm not nervous. I'm excited!! I'm confident in my ability and my principal has done nothing but reassure how much confidence he has in me when I hear him talking to other people about me. That's a pretty awesome feeling. I think my dad summed it up best when he said it's like I'm wearing an old hat; it feels comfortable, and I know it's exactly where I'm supposed to be!
My goal for this year is to update this once a week!! I'm sure I can do it! I will do a much better job!
This time next week I will have completed two days of school! WOO!

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."